US president Joe Biden, on Wednesday, ordered a security review of Chinese apps WeChat and TikTok and dropped the executive orders passed by former President Trump that sought to ban those apps.
Trump had blocked WeChat and TikTok from appearing in US app stores, after he said the Chinese-owned apps posed national security risk.
The effort by the Trump administration prompted a series of legal challenges which delayed the efforts to ban or force the sale of the applications, which heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing.
A statement said that instead of banning the popular apps, the Biden administration would carry out a “criteria-based decision framework and rigorous, evidence-based analysis to address the risks” from internet applications controlled by foreign entities.
Adding that “Biden administration is committed to promoting an open, interoperable, reliable and secure Internet while protecting human rights online and offline.”
“Certain countries, including the People’s Republic of China (PRC), do not share these values and seek to leverage digital technologies and Americans’ data in ways that present unacceptable national security risks while advancing authoritarian controls and interests,” it added.
The move comes as the US Senate on Wednesday passed the innovation bill with bipartisan support with an eye on China.
The bill aimed to strengthen US technology amid the growing threats from China even as the Chinese parliament expressed “strong indignation” over the bill which has now gone to the US House of Representatives for approval.